30 July, 2010

Clarion West 2011—let's write!

I'm happy to announce that next July, I'll be teaching the third week of Clarion West, the 6-week speculative-fiction writing workshop I attended as a student in 1999.

Although I probably won't do more than glimpse them, I'm very pleased to be in the company of the other instructors, Paul Park, Nancy Kress (who also taught me back in '99), Minister Faust, L. Timmel Duchamp and Charles Stross. What a spread of talent and style! Quick, start rustling up your application now, even as this year's class staggers out of the workshop room and struggles to reacquaint itself with real life.

29 July, 2010

Portuguese Tender Morsels

The title means 'The Girls who Dreamed of Bears'.
(courtesy Guerra & Paz Editores)

Singing My Sister Down poster

Just realised the email announcing the play had a poster attached!
(Designed by Lucy Tann.)

26 July, 2010

Singing My Sister Down, a production of the Sydney University Dramatic Society

SUDS presents a dramatic adaptation from Sydney writer Margo Lanagan's award-winning book of short stories for young adults, Black Juice.

Wed–Sat, 11th–21st August, 8pm.
Cellar Theatre, under the Holme Building, Science Road, Sydney University.
Admission: $2/3/4/5.

'In the winter you come to the pit to warm your feet in the tar. You stand long enough to sink as far as your ankles—the littler you are, the longer you can stand...but in summer, like this day, you keep away from the tar, because it makes the air hotter and you mind about the stink.'

Ik's got to go down, and everybody's got to see her go. The family party in the tar, feasting and singing despite the shame. But as the sun goes down and the young girl disappears in front of us, we observe an unnaturally slow execution, and watch a family lose someone before they are gone.

Adapted and directed by Eleni Schumacher and Stephen Sharpe, and the company. Produced by Ellana Costa. Poster design by Lucy Tann.

How will they recreate a tarpit in the cellar of the Holme Building? What will 'Walking the Tracks with Beejay Singh' sound like? Will everyone get a little bit of crab-claw meat? Come along and see! (And bring along a hankie; there's a strong possibility it'll be a weepie.)

Chugging on.

The short (1000-3000 word) piece that's due on Friday is rough-drafted and I'm looking at it sidelong, thinking it needs to shape up a bit.

I started the final short story that's to go into Yellowcake, the collection that's coming out next March from A&U, and who-knows-when from the US and UK; those contracts and schedules aren't quite sorted yet. Anyway, this story is supposed to help lighten up the collection a little, so I have to mix in a lot of milk-of-human-kindness, humour and affection. You have no idea how hard I'm finding this. Anyway, 8 pages written. That's a good start. So far, no one has been disembowelled. Or sexually assaulted. Sigh.

20 July, 2010

Because it's July...

...and just over a year on, and I'm stuck at work tooling around on the Internet, here's M. T. Anderson's brilliant speech from the Printz Awards last year, about how smart children and teenagers are. And he's no dummy himself.

14 July, 2010

Crikey, another week's gone by!

Not much to report here - still working on a short story (but that'll be a given for the next 6 months). This one was due last weekend; I think I'll have it done tomorrow. I just have to ramp up the tension in the second half, so that it's more of a surprise when the little guy kills the overbearing one.

Must get this story and another (a shorty - only 3000 words!) completed by the end of July. There's a third one it would be good to get substantially started on by then, too.

Didn't win a Shirley Jackson. Still not king. :)

08 July, 2010

Wanna see my Writing Room?

Spike/Meanjin takes you there, as well as for a short, sweet tour around the inside of my head.

06 July, 2010

Ghostpigs and gah

Catherynne M. Valente says what I think (except I never could have dreamed up the ghostpigs on their guitars) over here. She writes about the horrors of reading boring beginnings in a way that makes it sound almost fun. But it isn't; those of us with obligatory-reading responsibilities know. Thank you for speaking our minds, Catherynne.

03 July, 2010

July already

I see that I was not very prolific blog-entry-wise during June. Apologies. I was run off my feet.

I went to my grant assessment meeting, and then I read more applications for another, bigger assessment meeting. That one's done now, so I'm only doing 2 jobs (tech- and story-writing) from now until near the end of July, when the next, huge, batch of applications, and the Vogel longlist, will hit and make things impossible again.

I finally got so bogged down in that short story I told you about that I sent what I'd done to the anthology editor, asking for help. She very generously did a bit of chop-and-changing herself, and a lot of annotating, and when she sent it back I ploughed on, and I've just now, within the last 3 minutes, sent what I think is the final draft off to her.

All this pushing-of-rocks-uphill has put me behind with my story-generating agenda. I've asked for an extension on the next story, and now I have until next weekend to get that one in. Unfortunately it shows signs of being difficult too, throwing out little senseless arms of itself in all directions, refusing to tell me its secrets.

Perhaps it'll look better at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I'll have another go at it then.